As the population of the West Valley is expected to grow at twice the national rate over the next five years, increasing demand for pediatric health services, the Phoenix Children’s Hospital broke ground on June 30 at its Southwest Campus in Avondale.
Phoenix Children’s will invest $39.9 million to construct and equip a new 71,250-square-foot, three-story medical office building and retrofit the existing 35,000-square-foot building to provide emergency services.
“Expanding this West Valley location is part of a multifaceted plan to bring care directly into the communities of the families Phoenix Children’s serves,” said Robert L. Meyer, president and CEO of Phoenix Children’s. “This site will not only expand specialized care services, but will also answer an urgent need for emergency care for children.”
The opening of the Southwest Campus is part of a larger Phoenix Children’s strategic effort to expand access to care for families in the West Valley and across the state.
The groundbreaking in Avondale follows last month’s announcement of Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Arrowhead Campus, set to open in Glendale in 2024.
The emergency department provides pediatric emergency care 24/7, giving the West Valley access to physicians in more than 75 pediatric subspecialties; 40 triage, treatment and resuscitation rooms; six fast-track beds; ultrasound, CT, fluoroscopy and digital radiography.
The emergency department is expected to treat more than 40,000 children annually.
The multi-specialty clinic will offer comprehensive services in 25 specialties including allergy/immunology, cardiology, dermatology, developmental pediatrics, endocrinology, fetal development, gastroenterology, general surgery, genetics, hand, neonatology, nephrology, neurology, neuropsychology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, pain management, plastic surgery, psychiatry, psychology, lung disease, rheumatology, rehabilitation therapy including speech therapy, sports medicine and urology.
The clinic will also offer more than double the number of patient rooms, from 27 to 68.
The emergency department will open in the winter of 2023 and the specialist clinic in the fall of 2022.
While there are more than 30,000 pediatric emergency visits in the Avondale area each year, there is no pediatric-specific emergency care option. The demand for specialized child care is also increasing.
Meanwhile, West Valley’s pediatric population is projected to grow from over 400,000 today to nearly 500,000 by 2030, increasing the need for pediatric-specific health services.
An emergency department in the West Valley will impact patient outcomes, according to Dr. Julie Augenstein, an emergency medicine pediatrician.
“Currently, our emergency services are only available at our main campus in downtown Phoenix. In a place of this size, in metro Phoenix terms, that means kids with acute injuries across the valley often end up in adult emergency centers,” she said. “Kids aren’t just little adults. I feel like that’s our usual expression that we use, but they have really different medical developments.At Phoenix Children’s, we have clinicians who are specifically trained in pediatrics.”
Augenstein enforced the growing need for pediatric care, as well as the many benefits the new emergency department will bring to patients, as it will be staffed with professionals trained in treating children, as opposed to adults.
“When we open our emergency room in Avondale it will be staffed with the same experienced pediatricians, well trained nurses with appropriate experience and who know how to treat these patients, pediatricians who know how to provide distraction techniques, radiology, radiology technicians who know how to deliver dose-dependent and personalized care for families in the West Valley. The emergency department will be a new and better option to access the best possible health care,” Augenstein said.
At the groundbreaking event, Meyer announced additional expansion projects in the West Valley, including a facility in Peoria.
“We have additional plans in store that will make a real difference to families in West Valley,” Meyer said. “Our primary responsibility is to provide the right care, at the right time and in the right place, to children in our community.”
Evenale Mayor Kenneth Weise said the new facility responds to the city’s growth and the need for a local emergency department for children.
“Over the past nine years, the growth we’ve seen in West Valley alone has been incredible. I think having this facility in Avondale, along with the sports medicine facility, says a lot about Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s commitment to Avondale and their confidence in how we do things and what we do,” Weise said.
In addition to the economic impact, Weise said the Southwest Campus provides a much closer opportunity for families to take their children when they need emergency care.
“Having this facility here makes a difference, especially when you’re dealing with children who may be injured and they don’t understand why they are injured and they want to be with their parents. Phoenix Children’s does a great job of integrating parents and their children, but giving the parents the opportunity to have a facility that is a few minutes away instead of maybe 45 minutes in traffic, that’s a big deal ,’ he said.
The Southwest Campus will be built on the site of the Phoenix Children’s Southwest Valley Specialty and Urgent Care Center at 1665 N. Avondale Boulevard.
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